Friday, May 21, 2010

Hammock garden is "just what the doctor ordered"

Janice and Chip Hammock have a beautiful garden just northeast of Newnan in Coweta county. Their garden rivals any I have seen anywhere. They also have one of the most unusual gardening methods I have seen, too. They actually water and fertilize their plants using IV tubing.

This method comes very natural to Janice, a nurse, who hooks patients up to IVs for nourishment and pain control on a daily basis. It makes sense that she would use this successful idea on another kind of life form -- her garden plants.

Both Janice and Chip are a creative couple who could hold their own on any home-improvement show on TV, so it is very natural for them to come up with an idea for a watering system and then implement it with such ease. I don't know for sure, but I imagine that Janice contributed the knowledge of how an IV system could work and Chip contributed the skill and technology to make it happen. Just take a look at their amazing system!

Here is an early photo of the system when it was installed. The plants are in raised beds and the watering buckets are hanging from posts -- kind of like in a hospital.

Here is a more recent photo. Can you see how well it works? It is incredible.

The IV equipment regulates how much (or how little) the plants receive. The tubing controls the drip rate. There is no waste or problem with evaporation. The water and nourishment go directly where the plants need it the most.

In this earlier photo, the IV line goes into a PVC pipe that goes directly to the roots of the plants.

In more recent photos you can tell how well it is working!

Here is another early view, right after planting. They use MiracleGro liquid fertilizer but any kind of liquid fertilizer would work.

The open buckets can also catch rainfall.

And the results -- such large tomatoes. I think they will be ready very soon.

They told me this was their "redneck garden" but if that is true, I think redneck must be synonymous with genius!

I appreciate Janice's sister Bonnie Jacobs for letting me know about this incredible and interesting gardening method. I also know that Janice will be cooking up some really wonderful dishes with the bounty from her garden. Both Bonnie and Janice could compete with Paula Deen with their delicious home cooking.

Janice said it was "just what the doctor ordered ... seems to be working." I agree that she has the right prescription for her garden.

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